What was the most useful thing someone did for you when you were pregnant/had just given birth ?

(132 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Sep-13 17:43:05

The White Ribbon Alliance - the world’s biggest coalition of people advocating to make sure mothers survive childbirth are compiling a book of all the rituals and traditions that surround pregnancy, birth and the early days just afterwards and they would love your help. They want to know what was the most useful thing someone did for you? If they want to use your story they will get in touch via Mumsnet and discuss your contribution further.
All proceeds from the book will of course go to furthering their work helping mothers survive childbirth – and they have had some good news – although there’s still work to be done maternal deaths have gone down by a half.
Thanks in advance for your help – here’s some more info on the book.

"The common threads of love and care from mothers and sisters; of significant clothes; of special foodstuffs; of dreams, prayers and poems; of times to rest and times to celebrate – are woven throughout these highly personal accounts.

Plotted against the entire year that it takes to conceive, carry and give birth to a baby, this book reveals how - even in very different parts of the world - much the same essential wisdom and knowledge is preserved and expressed through local rituals and practices."

SenoritaViva Tue 24-Sep-13 17:55:39

My mother is in her own words 'rubbish with babies'. But she is a really great cook and she cooked tons of delicious home cooked meals for the freezer. It was so lovely to know there was always something I could feed the family when we'd had a rough night or not found the time. She kept topping up for a few months. Life saver!

abear Tue 24-Sep-13 18:00:53

Mine is food related too. A chef who lives nearby made me lots of fabulous soup.

I had lost my appetite completely in the weeks after giving birth but my mum kept bringing me little snacks and drinks throughout the day. This meant I didn't have to face cooking or eating a big meal and I gradually regained my normal eating habits.

I wasn't very mobile for quite a while after both births so having physical help with the normal everyday tasks i couldnt manage alone made a huge difference to me and my recovery.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 24-Sep-13 23:47:14

A friend brought me round a home made shepherds pie, I kissed her, it was so appreciated, breat feeding makes you ravenous but too tired to cook!

silversmith Tue 24-Sep-13 23:50:25

Food again. The usually very undemonstrative friend, who came round on an evening when my husband had been called into work, and me & the baby had just come home from an overnight in hospital with feeding issues. She knows I'd never ask for help, so she just came in with a large portion of home cooked meatballs, heated them up, sat me down to eat them while she washed up & tidied the kitchen, then left me in peace. Perfect. And very obviously a woman with two small children of her own.

LongWordsBotherMe Wed 25-Sep-13 02:02:44

The lovely group of ladies from my church who organised two weeks of home cooked meals to be delivered to our door once my dh had gone back to work. Of course, I have since taken part in this tradition from the other side!

GeordieCherry Wed 25-Sep-13 04:48:58

Just the support of friends, family & strangers constantly reassuring me I was doing a great job & to keep following my instincts & doing whatever I was doing because it was working.

I do the same for pregnant & new mothers now as it was so boosting for me

LovesBeingOnHoliday Wed 25-Sep-13 05:47:48

When friends visited they brought lunch or just tired things away; not asked for or even asked if I wanted them too Tgey just got stuck in grin

BlackberrySeason Wed 25-Sep-13 06:48:12

I was given a copy of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - the LLL book a few weeks before DS was born. It was an excellent companion to starting bf and we are still bf now smile

feetheart Wed 25-Sep-13 06:53:05

Food again!
The fabulous friend who turned up with two hot portions of roast dinner plus all the trimmings one evening when DS was a few days old. Still the best-tasting roast I have ever had smile

my mum used to come over to see the baby and as she was leaving would gather all my washing. on the next visit it would come back ironed. was a god send to be alleviated of one simple but time consuming task.

i also recall going over there for dinner in the very early days of constant breastfeeding and having my food cut up for me and put on a tray beside me on the sofa grin sounds daft but it made the difference between missing yet another meal or not.

in egypt where i used to live the bedouin really, really take care of new mums - they're meant to stay in bed with the baby and everyone brings special food, does the housework, feeds the rest of the family etc.

oh and what was also lovely was that a friend of mine used to come round after work sometimes and look after the baby whilst i just had a bath and got dried and dressed in peace. felt like such luxury to have an hour or so to myself.

Bryzoan Wed 25-Sep-13 08:13:24

My mum turned up the day ds was born and cooked a roast. It was amazing.

Picklesauage Wed 25-Sep-13 08:42:01

My DD was suddenly rushed to NICU 5 hours post birth. It was a horrible shock and my DH and I were just a mess.

My friend had been planning on visiting us that evening, before she stopped breathing. She still came, full of congratulations on our daughter, she made us remember that she was still a joy.

She also brought Chinese from our favourite takeout.

Spottybra Wed 25-Sep-13 08:44:14

My sister came back from holiday the day after I returned from hospital with baby#2. I had 2 children now under 2. She stopped off at a farm and came straight to mine with crates of strawberries, cherries and plums, freshly picked. I had my favourite fruits to snack on whilst bf.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 25-Sep-13 09:09:34

Took me out to places/drove me to places where I knew I had someone with me who could help me cope with a very colicky crying baby and let what we did be led by me and what I could manage with said baby.
It got me out and gave me a sense of perspective and helped me not feel isolated.

SmallBee Wed 25-Sep-13 09:17:43

I'm still pregnant but so far the most useful person to me has been my husband. He has done almost all the household chores all by himself without once complaining, all cooking, cleaning washing etc. it's been amazing not having to stress about any of it & I know it's a real luxury I won't get if/when we have a second child.

We've also been lucky enough to have been given a very large amount of things for the baby from my SIL, whose daughter will be almost exactly a year apart from ours. It's so helpful not having to do the research for every tiny thing as we know it's all been successfully tried and tested.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Wed 25-Sep-13 09:23:16

My church made a rota and every night for a fortnight someone came to my house with a home-cooked meal (and usually a present for the baby!) it was amazing!

FOOD! When i had my first DD my mum came and made all the meals and it was a godsend because i would have survived on crisps otherwise.

With my second DD I was in hospital for about 10 days and my DH everyday brought me a carrier bag of snacks, sandwiches etc because when you dont like the hospital food and your pinning all your hopes on the next meal its terrible.

Both times i was able to just focus on my babies and breastfeeding without having to remember to eat.

Zhx3 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:34:48

When I had my first baby, my Mum commuted 250 miles by train for the first 4 weeks - she lived with us during the week, and made sure I was well-fed (3 hot meals a day!), and that my laundry was done. She also held the baby so I could get some sleep.

We've since moved nearer to my parents, and with every baby, they have made sure that we are fed for the first month.

Baby no. 2 was extremely colicky from weeks 5 - 12. My husband would take him out at 7pm and go driving with him, bring him back asleep at midnight. Was a godsend.

ALittleBitOfMagic Wed 25-Sep-13 10:05:54

My mum washed and ironed all DDs uniforms and DSs clothes the first few weeks after DS was born .

crikeybadger Wed 25-Sep-13 10:15:33

My DH looked after the other 3DS solidly after dd was born. It meant I could rest, do lots of skin to skin and get breastfeeding off to a really good start.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 10:16:52

help with schoolruns and bring over food

look after baby so I can have a sleep/bath/meal

snice Wed 25-Sep-13 10:20:43

the day before I came out of hospital my mother came round to our house and cleaned it from top to bottom-DP had 'cleaned' but as he remarked 'it looks different now your mum's done it'. It was spotless. Thanks mum

cherrylola Wed 25-Sep-13 10:34:50

My DP was wonderful and did all the housework etc as we were having some BF problems. I was basically rooted to the bed or sofa feeding. I had stocked the freezer (he is a lazy cook!) in advance. No one brought us anything remotely healthy! One set of parents brought a jumbo box of Krispy kremes and the other set brought the worlds most ridiculously huge chocolate cookies confused. We did enjoy them both immensely tho grin
My mum bought a gorgeous bunch of flowers, but left them on the side in the kitchen without any water!!!
I remember being quite gutted that she hadn't thought to at least plonk them in a vase! The time I had to spend sorting them out so I could at least appreciate looking at them felt like it used my very last scrap of energy! Bit dramatic I know, but it really did feel like that! I think she was just to excited about LO so I've forgiven her!

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